September 30, 2020
“Ay sorry, na-DC lang.”
This is probably one of the most common statements throughout this quarantine season. Whether it was because of poor signal, bad weather conditions, the device just not cooperating, or a mix of these, moments of disconnection no longer surprise us.
In the earlier months of the quarantine, we were all forced to solely interact using our devices. The closest we had to face-to-face conversations were through video chats. Even then, not everyone had ease of access.
In reality, it takes much effort to connect at this time from organizing a common schedule, navigating multiple disconnections within a call, and experiencing Zoom Fatigue, to dealing with the elephant in the room—the global pandemic and its effects on us.
All for what? All of it being done in an artificial setup to further build relationships.
It is honestly tiring.
While we may have enjoyed the online hangout, it may have crossed our minds to ask how long we’ll keep putting up with this set up. According to experts, the longer we stay socially isolated, the higher the risk to our mental and physical health.
Perhaps, “distancing” has already spilled over into our relationships more than we are aware of. Instead of distancing for the sake of physical safety, this distancing could be endangering us relationally.
So, how do we check if we are already disconnecting socially or we are just responding to the effects of the pandemic? Here are some items to TICK in order to check the status of your relationships:
A big part of any relationship is the trust that holds it together. In that kind of bond, we allow ourselves to be vulnerable to people close to us. They not only see the good, but also the bad and the ugly.
Can we still share to our friends what’s going on in our lives, even the stories and issues that are hard to talk about?
Take the time to recall what you’ve been sharing to them lately. Let your mutual trust transcend distance. Make time for deep talks instead of just the usual small talks over the phone.
Remember the time when we would always invite our friends to accompany us wherever and in whatever we do? There’s joy in inviting and also in being invited. On a deeper level, we appreciate it when people make the effort to include us in their lives as much as they do when we include them in ours.
How can we be more intentional in checking up our friends and being there for them?
Maintaining our key relationships requires effort. But because we love these people, the efforts that we pour into our friendships are more of a delight than a duty.
Cliche as it may sound, in most things, consistency is key. Relationships are no exception.
Are we still in regular contact with others just like how we used to be in touch with them before the pandemic happened?
Let your consistency and intentionality make up for the distance. Being physically distant from our friends need not result in being relationally absent from one another.
Extending kindness, especially in our situation today, takes effort. It used to be easier face-to-face and with less personal concerns.
Little acts of kindness can go a long way, such as a random voice message, a funny meme to cheer someone up, or a simple “Kumusta ka?” As we tend to feel disconnected from our friends, these things can assure us that we’re not alone and we’re never forgotten.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
The relationships that we value are always worth fighting for. Social distancing need not result in disposable relationships.